Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Trereife Spring Fair



Phew! I've finally got broadband and have just got time to do a quick post before I head off tomorrow to set up for the Trereife Spring Fair.... if any of you lovely readers find yourselves in sunny Cornwall this weekend, the Fair runs from Friday 18th to Monday 21st, at Trereife House near Penzance. (Just head west out of Penzance on the A30 Land's End road, and it will be signposted on your right). The Fair is open 10am - 4.30pm each day, and will feature all manner of arts and crafts designed and made in Cornwall, as well as food stalls and demonstrations by top Cornish chefs. Plus a lovely house and garden to visit! 





I've been working my little socks off making stuff to sell; framed collages of natural finds....



new cushions; all vintage fabrics and hand-dyed linens.....






and shell collages......



(I always have a combination of anxiety and excitement before a fair....months of hard work are distilled down into a few intense days of selling not only your goods, but yourself too)

Whatever your plans are for this Easter, I hope the sun shines for you! x

Sunday, 16 March 2014

A Cornish Garden


I went up to the antiques fair at Shepton Mallet this weekend and had a wonderful time rummaging through fabric and lace and buttons, and admiring the variety of unusual and beautiful items on offer......it never fails to inspire! Also it's lovely to meet up again with the generous and hardworking people who trade there; special mention to Sue, Alan, Ken and John. I was thoroughly exhausted though by the end of Saturday, so decided to head home on Sunday morning, stopping off en route to visit Lanhydrock, one of the great Cornish houses and gardens. I usually park at Respryn Bridge, and walk up to the house along the river and through the woods.......

The banks were dotted with daffodils. The London to Paddington mainline runs right alongside the river just at this point....


Once in the woods the evidence of the winter storms was all too clear; I counted eight huge trees down across my path alone.






Primroses are my favourite spring flower, and here at Lanhydrock they grow in amongst the mosses and the tree roots in the most romantic way....



Lanhydrock has an historically correct formal garden at the front, but for me the natural setting of the woodland banks is far more beautiful.



Cornish gardens are justly famed for their collections of rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and camellias. Many of the specimens were collected as seed by the great Victorian plant hunters who journeyed to the Far East in search of rare and beautiful blooms. The mild and damp winters of the Cornish climate are perfectly suited to these native species of China and the Himalayas. Some of the trees are already in full flower, others still only in tight bud. Over the next couple of weeks the gardens of Cornwall will be at the height of their springtime glory.





Sweet-scented Daphne...


Magnificent magnolia!





Azaleas...



Huge rhododendrons!

At the back of the higher garden is this sweet little thatched summerhouse...




Delicate blowsy blooms and smooth glossy leaves of the camellias....







Fallen petals amongst the bluebell leaves...


and along the path...




Doesn't this look like a delicious puffy marshmallow! So peachy!





In the deep leaf litter the bluebells are pushing through all over...I reckon they will be out in time for Easter....
Hope you have caught some of the balmy sunny weather over the last few days, so welcome after all that wind and rain; we deserve it! x x x

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Palette



I was employed as manageress of a small art gallery for a couple of years before I established 'The Sea Garden', and one of the most enjoyable aspects of the job for me was to visit artists in their own studios and select work for sale. It is an honour and a privilege to be invited to step into someone's studio as it is always a very personal space. I love the smell of them; the jumble of paints and  brushes and canvases, the mess on the floor and the walls, the half-finished pieces, the preliminary sketches that give you an insight into the development and thought processes involved in producing a completed artwork.
My friend Angelica is a full-time practising artist, and after struggling to paint in a cold and very damp outhouse for the last few years she has finally managed to rent a fine purpose-built studio in a lovely location not too far from home. 


Today was my first visit there, and whilst Angelica pottered about unpacking her things and preparing paints, I took the liberty of taking the following photographs, which she has given me permission to share with you all.



Having a space in which to work away from the distractions of everyday living is so important, she told me. 



She hasn't had time yet to stamp her identity on the place, but already there are a few things tacked to the wall to lend inspiration, and some finished pieces:








She works with a mixture of oils, acrylics and pastels.


Some close-ups of the palette....



A well-earned cuppa!




Truly scrumptious-looking pastels, they appear as though they have light shining out of them!






The accoutrements of the artist: palette knives, brushes,


canvases and frames.....



tubes of paint and sketchbooks....




Whilst Angelica prepared a new canvas ground I sat and produced a little drawing of my own, just for fun. I very rarely sit down and produce any kind of artwork these days.


I used oil pastels, not my favourite medium, but all I could find to hand to bring.


This was my chosen subject: in a corner of the studio a shelf with two of Angelica's paintings and a vase of daffodils, and a comfy chair on a rug.


 Et voila! 
The chair came out a bit elongated, and I used artistic licence with the colour of the shelf and the skirting board, but I enjoyed the challenge!